#AprilFools

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The web has taken creating company online personalities to a new level by tapping into the April Fools spirit and launching viral jokes, which became a trend deemed mainstream before EST lunch.  BIGfish voted Boston’s LevelUp as its favorite prankster, but take a look for yourself at this quick rundown of the top 2011 jokes across the web:
Google
The first of Google’s shenanigans was a new Gmail feature called Gmail Motion, a new technology that enabled Googlers to use their bodies to write and respond to emails. Additional pranks included a job posting for an “autocompleter,” an announcement that Comic Sans will soon be the default font for all Google products (search for “comic sans” or “helvetica” for an extension of the joke) and YouTube’s “Top 5 Viral Pictures of 1911.”
LinkedIn
LinkedIn added some notable contacts under “People You Might Know” including Ernest Hemingway and Albert Einstein.
Huffington Post
Mocking the recent New York Times paywall, The Huffington Post announced one of its own exclusively for New York Times employees. The terms become complex with details such as: “If you come in through Twitter, you’ll be able to access free words that contain more than six letters, but only those that refer to antiquated transportation machines (i.e. “funicular”).”
Deals 4 Hipsters
While there was no Groupon prank today, group-buying tracker Deal Pinch created a facetious Groupon-like site called Deals 4 Hipsters, which offered a pair of lenseless frames for $19. The site promises its users: “Nothing is more important to us than taking your money and spending it on material goods of our own.”
LevelUp
LevelUp, a new daily deal site, joined in on the fun. Users in Boston were offered the chance to streak Fenway Park for the discounted price of $45 (listed as a $90 value), trade places with a Red Sox player for a day, and intern with Ben Affleck (just make sure to read the fine print). The Philadelphia deals promised to leave users’ lives “flipped, turned upside down” with a Fresh Prince of Bel-Air theme. If only the opportunity to have a “baller night of antics with Geoffery” was no joke.
There is no coincidence companies that launched within the last fifteen years have developed playful and pungent personalities.  The aforementioned company’s launch dates include:

  • 1996 Google
  • 2002 LinkedIn
  • 2005 Huffington Post
  • 2011 Deal Pinch/Deals 4 Hipsters
  • 2011 Level Up
As the web evolves, more users want to interact with brands that don’t take themselves too seriously. Social media platforms allow brands to develop and show off their personality, which leads to further brand awareness, attention and overall success.
Lauren Mosenthal and Theresa Braun
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